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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I HATE THE HEAT!!! (emphasis intended) so I decided to buy a cooling vest. Unfortunately tge vests I found are either reasonably priced and I would have to buy 2 or 3 of them to meet the order minimum or the same vests were so expensive you could get it shipped but had to pay twice what they wanted on the other sites. Huh!

Found a website with plans on how to build one. With enough polyacrylamide crystals to make two vests plus the other items needed to make one vest I have just under the cost invested required to buy one. This is before $10+ for shipping.

http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm

Just scroll down and you will see the instructions for the vest. I got the crystals at Lowes for $12.95.

I also figured out last night how to make an active ice water cooling vest for less money than the crystal vest.. I work in a hospital and we use circulating warm water heating pads because of the burn danger associated with electric models. The radiator pads are disposable and with a little judicious application of Clorox will clean up very safely. An ice chest of water, some hose and a small 12V pump and I will be in business!

I'll let you know how they work out.
 

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For $303 total cost I called Veskimo and ordered the 4.4 quart system that circulates ice cold water through a vest that keeps me very comfortable for about two to three hours on a charge of two blocks of ice (containers included!) The system plugs into my ship's power and with the quick disconnect hoses I can turn the unit on, climb aboard the bike, plug the two hoses together and immediately feel the heat turn to comfort. Works so well that I keep all the vents zipped closed on my Olympia riding gear. Works great under a heavy vinyl rainsuit as well. In fact, the water gets cold enough that on low to mid 80 degree days I find myself switching the unit off and on. I'm talking to Kurt at Veskimo about getting a duty cycle timer to plug into my power cord to act as a type of a thermostat for those hot, but not too hot days.

Admittedly, your cool vest will cost you much less, but if you REALLY REALLY HATE the heat, I'd spend my hard earned money on the Veskimo.

JMHO, and I do not work for, gain remuneration, or have any business association with Veskimo. Just a very satisfied customer.
 

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Here's the start of an idea I've been thinking about either as a vest or helmet cooler. And if the numbers are correct the human body uses something on the order of 100 watts then any of these units should work.

12v Mobile Refrigeration
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting replies. You have to understand that for me 90% of the fun in something like this is conceiving the idea, designing the systems, sourcing components, implementing prototypes, improving the design, streamlining the mfg process, and then making periodic improvements and going through the whole process again!

That iceless chest is a neat design. I wonder if a large peltier device technology cooler could be adapted to a smaller unit which would be manageable on the bike and still maintain a suitable water temp? Hmmmmmmm.
 

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If I have to go into London on a hot day , I soak a t-shirt under the cold tap. Gently squeeze the excess water out and put it on. Leave your jacket zip partly open and you're good to go. You arrive cool and the T-shirt dries on the way.
I normally bring a spare t-shirt with me to change when I get there.


I was going to get a Hoon Cooler (http://www.hoonhardware.com/About_Us/about_us.htm,) but he needs more persuasion to start making them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
axamaxamaxamax,

The hoon hardware link doesn't seem to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pushin,

Just got a chance to look at that site! Great product at a very competitive price. Wish I'd known about it a couple weeks ago. I would have been sportin' one at the unlimited hydroplane races last weekend!

I'm not looking for a too easy solution but have been considering using a windshield washer pump for the circulating pump. Does this seem like a reasonable starting point in terms of flow volume? I figure if I need to cool the neighborhood one citizen at a time I can always use the backup water pump from the motorhome I sold a few years ago!

Thanks again for pointing me to the site!

Loren
 

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axamax said:
If I have to go into London on a hot day , I soak a t-shirt under the cold tap. Gently squeeze the excess water out and put it on. Leave your jacket zip partly open and you're good to go. You arrive cool and the T-shirt dries on the way.
I normally bring a spare t-shirt with me to change when I get there.


I was going to get a Hoon Cooler (http://www.hoonhardware.com/About_Us/about_us.htm,) but he needs more persuasion to start making them again.
Word of warning: when wet, a healthy person will lose heat 30 times faster than dry. Include driving wind with that, and you are on your way to hypothermia. This is NOT good advice you are giving here... :mad:
 

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SurfMan said:
Word of warning: when wet, a healthy person will lose heat 30 times faster than dry. Include driving wind with that, and you are on your way to hypothermia. This is NOT good advice you are giving here... :mad:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don't know if the above is true....... but for me:

I HATE to ride when it is too hot also, and have found that the only thing that seems to HELP, not cure, is to sip cool to cold water at least every 15-30 minutes. The sun really does suck the life out of me and if I'm not sipping, I can feel the fatigue creep on up and my attention really does drop. I haven,t tried the "cooling vests" but do find that a moist t-shirt helps. When you start to get tired on a hot day, dehydration is probably on its way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
SurfMan said:
Word of warning: when wet, a healthy person will lose heat 30 times faster than dry. Include driving wind with that, and you are on your way to hypothermia. This is NOT good advice you are giving here... :mad:
Not sure I agree with this. There is a difference between being immersed in cold or tepid water where you can't control the amount of heat being dissipated and letting evaporation draw the excess heat away from your body.

With the crystals all you need to do is adjust the amount of air(wind) you let reach the cooling vest. Remove most of the wind and you remove most of the evaporation hence the cooling effect is reduced.

With the ice water vests you can control the amount of cold liquid you are circulating through the "coils" thereby reducing the amount of heat you are drawing away.

I personally will be a lot safer if I'm cool (not freezing cold" on those 100+ degree farenheit days and not focused on the heat. I hate the heat and do not do well with it physically as I heat stroked (hospitalized) in Phoenix, AZ in 1977. I have hated summer since this episode.
 

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I've had a couple commercial "cooling vests" with the polyacrylamide crystals for several years. Used them on a trip out west and they worked great in those areas with low to mild humidity. Unfortunately down here in the sunny/humid south they don't function all that well. The newer variety of vests that circulate cool water seem much more practical down here in florida
 

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WA1200LT, I work at Lowe's here in Louisiana and I was wondering where you got the crystals. I'm in Tools and Hardware so I haven't seen them and was wondering where you got them and what they were called. It sounds like a good idea and I might make me one.
 

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wa1200lt said:
I HATE THE HEAT!!! (emphasis intended) so I decided to buy a cooling vest. Unfortunately tge vests I found are either reasonably priced and I would have to buy 2 or 3 of them to meet the order minimum or the same vests were so expensive you could get it shipped but had to pay twice what they wanted on the other sites. Huh!

Found a website with plans on how to build one. With enough polyacrylamide crystals to make two vests plus the other items needed to make one vest I have just under the cost invested required to buy one. This is before $10+ for shipping.

http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm

Just scroll down and you will see the instructions for the vest. I got the crystals at Lowes for $12.95.

I also figured out last night how to make an active ice water cooling vest for less money than the crystal vest.. I work in a hospital and we use circulating warm water heating pads because of the burn danger associated with electric models. The radiator pads are disposable and with a little judicious application of Clorox will clean up very safely. An ice chest of water, some hose and a small 12V pump and I will be in business!

I'll let you know how they work out.
Make sure the fabric you use is VERY tightly woven, if not the crystals will "leak" out and dry on your skin. This can cause a major rash similar to a severe sun burn. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Diolach, I got them in the garden dept. I they are out of stock you can order 2 lbs from http://www.watersorb.com/prices.htm for $19.95 shipping included. This is actually a better price than I got from Lowes. $12.95 for 1 lb. It takes about 1/2 lb to make a vest.

RonK The plans I pointed out recommends unbleached muslin which is a tight weave cotton fabric. As you point out you don't want to squeeze the crystals through the cloth. I made some tubes to go around the neck a few years ago and they are uncomfortable to wear once they become slimy. I have no doubt that it could also cause an allergic reaction for some with a sensitivity. The instructions give several pointers for making sure this doesn't happen. One of the pointers states to not wring out the excess water as it is possible to squeeze crystals out of the stitched seams and also, if you squeeze hard enough, through the weave of the fabric. Instead you blot excess water off the surface. Also, do not overfill the pockets.

I'm going to stitch mine up this afternoon and will post pictures of the process and the finished product. It's going to be in the 90's here through the weekend so I'll be able to try it out.

Loren
 

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SurfMan said:
Word of warning: when wet, a healthy person will lose heat 30 times faster than dry. Include driving wind with that, and you are on your way to hypothermia. This is NOT good advice you are giving here... :mad:

In warm, arid regions, wet vests work quite well to cool the body in a controllable manner. These are used when it's HOT outside, not when someone is in danger of freezing.
 

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You might also check out Kool 'N Safe

As previously stated, evaporitve type systems work best in dry, arid, very low humidity areas (think west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona type climates). For a more technical explanation Wikipedia is your friend...
 

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A little of topic but still along the same lines,
I had a friend that some 15-20 years ago designed a water cooled motorcycle seat,
he routed the seat foam and lined that with some plastic tubing that attached to the cooler
on the front of his homemade trailer,
with the flip of a switch and a small circulating pump he was able to circulate ice water through his seat.

He was a frequent user of preperation H
so I'm guessing that might have been his source of motivation. :p
 

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wa1200lt said:
Diolach, I got them in the garden dept. I they are out of stock you can order 2 lbs from http://www.watersorb.com/prices.htm for $19.95 shipping included. This is actually a better price than I got from Lowes. $12.95 for 1 lb. It takes about 1/2 lb to make a vest.

RonK The plans I pointed out recommends unbleached muslin which is a tight weave cotton fabric. As you point out you don't want to squeeze the crystals through the cloth. I made some tubes to go around the neck a few years ago and they are uncomfortable to wear once they become slimy. I have no doubt that it could also cause an allergic reaction for some with a sensitivity. The instructions give several pointers for making sure this doesn't happen. One of the pointers states to not wring out the excess water as it is possible to squeeze crystals out of the stitched seams and also, if you squeeze hard enough, through the weave of the fabric. Instead you blot excess water off the surface. Also, do not overfill the pockets.

I'm going to stitch mine up this afternoon and will post pictures of the process and the finished product. It's going to be in the 90's here through the weekend so I'll be able to try it out.

Loren
Yep, just wanted to point out that there are many different deniers when it comes to any cloth, and the less expensive stuff is always the looser weave since it contains less fibers. It may be difficult to find "drapable" (what is known in the textile industry as "hand") fabric that is also soft and has a tight weave at your local fabric superstore. They tend to carry a lot of junk since that's what the mass market demands.

If you can find some high quality Pima cotton sheets that would be the way to go. Once you get into the 600 thread count area (and this is where you'll find a lot of junk as well that really isn't 600 thread count) you won't need to worry about any leakage, and your seams will be much tighter as well.

Use a french felled seam with two rows of stitches about 10 to 12 per inch. 15 to 20 if you're using a fine thread.

And yes, I am into textiles and sewing. ;)

Stay cool! :bmw:
 

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SurfMan said:
Word of warning: when wet, a healthy person will lose heat 30 times faster than dry. Include driving wind with that, and you are on your way to hypothermia. This is NOT good advice you are giving here... :mad:

:histerica
Hypothermia? wazzat? dunno anything about that from June through September 'round here.

Clearly SurfMan in the Netherlands has not experienced riding in 100F (38C) temperatures. Average high temps in August in his paradigm is 23C (73F).
 
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